How to Enable Immersive Mode on Android

Learn how to disable it, too

Immersive Mode, also known as full screen mode on Android, hides the status and navigation bars while using certain apps. Immersive Mode on Android is only enabled in certain apps by default, but there are ways to turn full screen mode on and off at will without rooting your device. Unfortunately, there's one major limitation: You can't disable Immersive Mode for apps that use it by default.

Information in this article applies to smartphones and tablets running Android 4.4 KitKat or later.

What Is Immersive Mode?

Immersive mode is a full screen experience on Android devices that hides the status and navigation bars. The status bar displays the time, notifications, and other important information at the top of the screen. Some Android devices also have a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen that houses the Back, Home, and Multitasking buttons. To view these features while in Immersive Mode, you must swipe up from the bottom of the screen, or swipe down from the top of the screen.

Pros and Cons of Immersive Mode

The benefit of Immersive Mode is you can see more of the app interface. The downsides are you might miss important notifications, lose track of time, or neglect the battery life until it's too late. When you swipe the screen to reveal the status bar, you might accidentally tap icons on the app interface, which can be particularly annoying while playing a game. On some devices, Immersive Mode mode can cause conflicts with the on-screen keyboard, which is why many developers eschew this design choice.

Android app in immersive mode, with the status bar, and with the navigation bar

How to Hide the Status Bar in Android Apps

There are a few programs that allow you to use Immersive Mode in any app. One free option is the Fullscreen Immersive app from PhotoSafe.

The free version of the app has a few bugs. For example, hiding the navigation bar may prevent you from using the on-screen keyboard on some devices. That doesn't matter for all apps, but if it's a problem for you, you can upgrade to the Pro version to fix it.

  1. Similar paid apps, like Immersive Mode Manager, are available for free with Google Play Pass.

  2. Launch the app and tap I Agree.

  3. Tap the Off toggle in the top-right corner to turn it On.

    PhotoSafe Full Screen Android app
  4. Tap Grant.

  5. Tap the Allow permission toggle, then tap back.

  6. Tap Hide Nothing, Hide Navigation Bar, or Hide Navigation and Status Bar. These settings will apply to all apps and take effect immediately.

    PhotoSafe Full Screen Android app

How to Turn Immersive Mode on and off for Specific Apps

It's also possible to set Immersive Mode preferences for individual apps.

Individual app preferences will override the option you choose at the top of the screen. Keep in mind that these settings don't affect apps that run in Immersive Mode by default. As of Android 10, there is no way to turn off Immersive Mode for all apps.

  1. Launch the PhotoSafe Fullscreen Immersive app and tap Usage Access.

  2. Tap Grant.

  3. Tap Full Screen Immersive Mode.

    PhotoSafe Full Screen Android app
  4. Tap Allow usage tracking, then tap back twice.

  5. All of your apps will appear in the bottom part of the screen. Tap the magnifying glass to search your apps.

  6. Enter the name of the app.

    PhotoSafe Full Screen Android app

    If using the free version, you may have to tap Hide Nothing at the top of the app for the keyboard to appear.

  7. Tap the app to set your preferences:

  • Tap it once to display both the status and navigation bars.
  • Tap it again to display only the status bar.
  • Tap it again to hide both the status and navigation bars.
  • Tap it once more to return to the default settings.
PhotoSafe Full Screen Android app